Advent Christian Church

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Advent Christian Church (Advent Christian General Conference)
Classification Protestant
Founder Jonathan Cummings
Origin 1860
Salem, Massachusetts
Branched from Millerites

The Advent Christian Church is a "first-day" body of Adventist Christians founded on the teachings of William Miller.

History[edit]

William Miller[edit]

Though the first Advent Christian Association was founded in Salem, Massachusetts in 1860, the church's formation is rooted in the Adventist teachings began by Baptist preacher William Miller of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. For many years, Miller studied the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament book of Daniel and the New Testament book of Revelation. After many calculations, he announced in 1831 that the Second Advent would occur in 1844. Thousands of people believed him, and sold their possessions. His followers, called Millerites, waited for the coming of Christ and the end of the world, and therefore were greatly disappointed.

The Albany Conference[edit]

The Albany Conference, which began in 1845, was one of the major groups which resulted. It included many major Millerite leaders such as Miller himself. The Advent Christian Church has its roots in this group.


Jonathan Cummings[edit]

Jonathan Cummings (1817–1894),[1] a disciple of Miller who reset Miller's prediction of Christ's coming as 1854, was also influential on the individuals who founded the Advent Christian Association. A third root of the Advent Christians is found in the rise of the doctrine of conditional immortality among Adventist preachers such as Charles F. Hudson (1795–1881) and George Storrs (1796–1879). Rejecting what they believed as a Greek philosophy (immortality of the soul), they taught that though man was created for immortality, that immortality had been forfeited in the fall of Adam. They believed that only the redeemed would receive eternal life; the dead unconsciously would await the resurrection and final judgment. At the time of judgment, the wicked would suffer extinction. These teachings separated them from some within the Millerite movement.

Beliefs[edit]

The doctrine of the Advent Christian Church includes belief in the Bible as the infallible rule of faith and practice, salvation available for all conditioned on repentance, and an orthodox position on the Triune nature of God. They have a strong emphasis placed on faith & faithfulness to God, and on the imminent return of Jesus Christ. The doctrine of "the unconscious intermediate state of the dead," a belief that is commonly called soul sleep, and "conditional immortality" - We believe that death is a condition of unconsciousness to all persons, righteous and wicked; a condition which will remain unchanged until the resurrection at Christ's Second Coming, at which time the righteous will receive everlasting life while the wicked will be "punished with everlasting destruction;" suffering complete extinction of being - separates them from some other evangelical denominations and movements. The church accepts two ordinances - water baptism by immersion, and the Lord's supper.

Advent Christian theologians, such as John H. Crouse, advocated an historicist view of the Book of Revelation,[2] and more recently Dr. Oral Collins work,[3] regarding it as a description of events from the time of the early church up to the second coming.

Statistics[edit]

In 2006, the Advent Christian Church had about 25,600 members in 293 churches across the U.S., not very different from the 28,300 it had in 1925, with relatively stable membership during the intervening years.[4] The largest concentration of churches is on the eastern coast of the United States where they have a strong concentration of churches in most states. Additionally, they claim approximately 100,000 members internationally, spread out over work in 35 countries. The church holds membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, the Evangelical Foreign Missions Association, and the National Association of Evangelicals.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mooar, George. The Cummings Memorial, B.F. Cummings, 1903, p. 263,4.
  2. ^ J.H.Crouse, Triumph of the Kingdom of God: A Study in the Book of Revelation, Worcester MA, 1943
  3. ^ Revelation The Final Prophecy of Jesus: An Introduction, Analysis and Commentary on the Book of Revelation
  4. ^ [1] Data from the National Council of Churches' Historic Archive CD and Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches

Bibliography[edit]

  • Churches and Church Membership in the United States (1990), Glenmary Research Center
  • Crocombe, Jeff (2003). "Advent Christian Church". In Hillerbrand, Hans Joachim. Encyclopedia of Protestantism 1. New York: Taylor and Francis. p. 10. 
  • Encyclopedia of American Religions, J. Gordon Melton, editor
  • Handbook of Denominations in the United States, by Frank S. Mead, Samuel S. Hill, and Craig D. Atwood
  • Midnight and Morning: The Millerite Movement and the Founding of the Advent Christian Church, by Clyde E. Hewitt
  • Tarling, Lowell R. (1981). "The Advent Christian Church". The Edges of Seventh-day Adventism: A Study of Separatist Groups Emerging from the Seventh-day Adventist Church (1844–1980). Barragga Bay, Bermagui South, NSW: Galilee Publications. pp. 12–23. ISBN 0-9593457-0-1. 
  • Knight, George R. (1994). 1844 and the Rise of Sabbatarian Adventism. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing.  (Part VIII highlights the Albany Conference of 1845 which became a formative meeting in the development of the Advent Christian denomination (132).)

External links[edit]